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Loretta Lynn - Celebrating the Life of The Coal Miner's Daughter at the Opry House in Nashville

by Rich and Laura Lynch

Family, friends, fans and admirers of the late legendary Loretta Lynn gathered together on Sunday, October 30, 2022 to participate in the often touching "COAL MINER'S DAUGHTER: A CELEBRATION OF THE LIFE & MUSIC OF LORETTA LYNN." The star-packed tribute to the extraordinary life and legacy of the country music icon took place at the Grand Ole Opry House and aired LIVE commercial-free exclusively on CMT and simulcast on SiriusXM's Willie's Roadhouse: Willie Nelson's Classic Country (Channel 59).


Brandi Carlile at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville.

Hosted by Jenna Bush Hager, the night featured emotional performances, tributes and special messages from Alan Jackson, Brandi Carlile, Darius Rucker, Faith Hill, George Strait, The Highwomen's Carlile, Amanda Shires + Natalie Hemby with Brittany Spencer, Hoda Kotb, Jack White, Keith Urban, Little Big Town, Tanya Tucker, Tim McGraw and Wynonna feat. Gaither Vocal Band + Larry Strickland.

On-stage guests who appeared to share heartfelt messages included Barbara Mandrell, Martina McBride and Sheryl Crow. Plus, there were special taped segments from Lynn's closest friends and fans: Dolly Parton, Kacey Musgraves, Marty Stuart, Miranda Lambert, Reba, Sissy Spacek and Taylor Swift.


Jack White at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville.

Throughout the extraordinary evening that was one of the more star-studded nights in Nashville in recent memory, Loretta Lynn was fondly recalled as a trailblazer for women all over even as she remained kind-hearted and humble on her path from poverty to become a country music powerhouse. She left a mark on her friends in the industry as both Keith Urban and Jack White revealed in the retelling of personal moments they shared with The Queen of Country Music at her Hurricane Mills home over the years.

There were several unique touches that made this already moving evening even more special as several of Loretta's long-flowing evening gowns were moved from their exhibition at the Loretta Lynn museum to the lobby of the Grand Ole Opry. In addition to picking up a collectable program and Lorretta Lynn emblazoned fans attendees could select from an of assortment of flowers on their way in to the venue ultimately filling the hallowed hall with vibrant colors and a sweet fragrance in advance of the somber yet joyful occasion.


Lukas Nelson and Emmy Russell at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville.

Opening the memorial, Wynonna feat. Gaither Vocal Band + Larry Strickland delivered a chills-inducing performance of the classic hymn, "How Great Thou Art" for the night's first standing ovation. The Highwomen's Brandi Carlile, Amanda Shires + Natalie Hemby and Brittney Spencer performed a show-stopping finale of Lynn's most recognizable hit, "Coal Miner's Daughter." Earlier in the night, Carlile also performed "She's Got You" solo.

Jack White's surprise appearance and powerful live performance of "Van Lear Rose," the title track of his and Loretta's Grammy-winning album, was a standout of the night. Introduced by Margo Price, fans were also treated to a rarely seen performance from Third Man Records Vault Package #24 featuring White and Lynn performing "Whispering Sea," a favorite of White's and one of the first songs Loretta ever wrote.


Margo Price at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville.

Alan Jackson expressed his gratitude to the Lynn family for allowing him to sing "Where Her Heart Has Always Been," the song he wrote for his mother when she passed away, in memory of Loretta. He shared that Loretta often reminded him of his mother: "Both were outgoing, sweet and genuine and would tell you exactly what was on their minds."

Lynn's granddaughter Emmy Russell joined forces with Willie Nelson's grandson, Lukas Nelson, to perform "Lay Me Down," the first song Loretta and Willie ever recorded together to a standing ovation. Keith Urban fondly remembered Loretta by playing a voicemail she had left for him inviting him to her birthday party, followed by his rendition of "You're Looking At Country."


George Strait, Darius Rucker and Tanya Tucker at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville.

Throughout the evening, more of Lynn's closest friends and fans delivered heartfelt speeches and shared personal memories, including Sissy Spacek, who recalled being "thunderstruck" upon first meeting Loretta. Dolly Parton shared that "Loretta was the best friend anybody could ever have." Taylor Swift praised Lynn for being an example for all songwriters, particularly females with her 'truthful, fearless honesty' in her writing. Barbara Mandrell recalled watching the movie Coal Miner's Daughter on her tour bus, calling Lynn an 'iconic talent' who was also kind, generous and loving.

Fans who couldn't attend her life celebration can catch commercial free encore showings of the memorial service on CMT airing on Wednesday, November 2 at 8p/7c and Sunday, November 6th at 11a/10c. "COAL MINER'S DAUGHTER: A CELEBRATION OF THE LIFE AND MUSIC OF LORETTA LYNN" will also be available on Paramount+ in early 2023.


Celebrating Loretta Lynn at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville.

Related Links: For more information on LORETTA LYNN and the other organizations mentioned please visit the following links - LorettaLynn.com | MCN Visits Hurricane Mills | Loretta Lynn on the Opry Stage | Grand Ole Opry House | CMT.com

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